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Minimum spends ‘a bridge too far’ as government launches $50 million CBD bailout

Article image for Minimum spends ‘a bridge too far’ as government launches $50 million CBD bailout

The NSW government has announced another $100 voucher scheme, available only on Fridays at Sydney CBD restaurants and attractions.

Jim Wilson welcomed the idea, but raised concerns CBD restaurants are themselves turning customers away with exorbitant minimum spends.

A friend of Jim’s was recently forced to pay nearly double his bill for his lunch due to a $100 per head minimum spend, which Jim described as “a bridge too far”.

“Frankly, I think it’s a turn off more than anything.

“If we want to encourage people back into our hospitality venues, I implore restaurant owners to reconsider the idea of a minimum spend.

“If the service and food are good enough, people will stay and spend their money.”

Press PLAY below to hear Jim’s comments in full

Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello said the $50 million ‘TGIF’ scheme is a targeted response to speed up revitalisation of the CBD.

“All of this has been budgeted for, Jim.

“There’s also money spent going to the venue, if you’re catching an Uber or a taxi, … there’s other money spent if you go to another venue for dessert or … a drink.

“There’s a big multiplier in all of this.”

Unlike the Dine and Discover vouchers, all four $25 vouchers can be stacked for a total of $100 off a single meal.

They will be available through the Service NSW app in Spring.

Press PLAY below to hear the details

Restaurant and Catering Industry Association CEO Wes Lambert told Jim the vouchers are going to “kickstart and turbocharge the CBD”.

Addressing Jim’s concerns about the disincentive caused by excessive minimum spends, Mr Lambert said the vast majority of restaurants do not have such a policy.

“It is a commercial decision of those businesses, and it’s usually backed by demand.”

Press PLAY below to hear the full response

Image: Getty

Jim Wilson
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